“What To Do If You Are Told You’re Overqualified For A Job?” – Ask Me Anything

“What To Do If You Are Told You’re Overqualified For A Job?” – Ask Me Anything

When you need experience to get experience and then when you have experience, you have too much experience

It makes no sense right? You hear companies saying constantly that they want better talent in their businesses to be able to grow and they only want the best of the best but then you apply for a job you feel you’d be great at and they tell you you’re too qualified for them. You find yourself asking which is it, do they want someone with experience or not?

How are you supposed to get a job when the goal posts keep getting moved?

"What To Do If You Are Told You're Overqualified For A Job?"

Firstly, you need to understand what the recruiter is actually saying when they state you’re too qualified for the job. Companies usually have a type of person in mind when they post a job description, for example they are maybe looking for someone with experience in X sector and with X qualifications and the big one, a person that wants X salary.

If a recruiter or hiring manager looks over a CV that goes over their original expectations for the job (ie. has more years of experience or has a higher level of qualification) they will have two trains of thought. 1. Will they be able to afford this person based on the budget they have set out and 2. Will the applicant get bored in their position if they are used to doing higher level jobs or having more variety in their roles. If they think you would be bored, they are going to think they wouldn’t be able to retain you and you’ll leave for something better. (you will basically be seen as a flight risk!)

So how do you stop a recruiter from thinking this?

It all comes down to explaining your situation and making it clear to a company why you have applied for that job. Before you submit on any application you should be reviewing the requirements of the role and ticking off what you have or what you don’t have.
If you were slightly unqualified for a job you were applying for, you would automatically enhance the skills you do have and detail how you could learn or develop those skills you aren’t yet completely competent with. So when you are overqualified you need to do the reverse.

The personal statement/ personal profile is the best part of your CV to do this as it is the first thing the company sees when reviewing your application. Stop their questioning right at the beginning.

Firstly, consider why you wanting a role that is maybe a lower level position than you are used to and detail that in your CV. Tailoring your CV is essential when trying to avoid this type of application feedback.


Why did you apply for the job?

Why are you going for that role?

Are you looking to move in a different direction in your career and think a lower level position would help you develop new skills that would support you on that career journey? Is it the company that you’re more passionate about and you want to get in on the ground floor there? Do you feel although you’re in management right now that managing people isn’t right for you?

There are plenty of reasons to go for a job that wouldn’t technically be seen as a promotion but you just need to make that clear to the employer.

Struggling to Word It

It you are really struggling to put into words why you want this job, why not follow up your application with a phone call so you can discuss your reasons for applying for that job directly with the recruiter.

Just make sure they aren’t wondering why you would want this job.

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